Women Give More to Charity - US Study
22 October 2010 at 9:40 am
Women across virtually every income level are more likely to give to charity and to give more money on average than their male counterparts, according to new research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Dr. Debra Mesch, the director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute says looking at giving across five different income groups, which range roughly from $23,000 to $100,000 a year, it's clear that it is not only wealthy women who give but women across nearly every income category give significantly more than their male counterparts – in many cases, nearly twice as much.
Women Give 2010 is the first report to compare philanthropic giving between men and women across all income levels based on a nationally representative sample.
It uses data from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study (COPPS), the largest study in the US that tracks giving patterns among the same households over time. Previous studies of gender and philanthropy have relied on data related to giving by households and married couples, making the effects of gender on giving difficult to identify.
Women Give 2010 analyzed only giving by households headed by single people in order to examine gender differences. Researchers controlled for factors that affect philanthropic behavior such as income, age, race, education, number of children, and more to allow direct comparisons between men and women.
The study found that in every income bracket except for one, women give more than men. The most dramatic differences are in the lowest, middle, and highest brackets where women give almost double the amount of men. The exception is women in the second lowest income bracket ($23,509 to $43,500), who give 32 percent less than men.
Dr Mesch says these findings have the potential to affect both donors and charities significantly.
She says women may not realize they are giving more than men because their giving patterns differ and understanding the power of their giving may encourage more women to consider the difference they can make with their giving.
She says Not for Profits may see this as a reminder to pay closer attention to the philanthropic power of women and the importance of developing fundraising strategies that will appeal to their priorities.
The Women’s Philanthropy Institute furthers the understanding of women’s philanthropy through research, education, and knowledge dissemination.